The Thunder have to be the most exciting team to watch in the NBA this season. And they also have had some of the more memorable box scores this season.
The Thunder had their Big Three each score 30 or more points and Serge Ibaka come two points shy of a 20-20 game.
Oklahoma City beat Phoenix 115-104 and only five players scored for the Thunder. Kendrick Perkins had six.
For three quarters it was not Kevin Durant’s night. He struggled mightily from the field and simply was not letting the game come to him, and he usually does.
Trailing 84-68 with 4:13 left in the third quarter, Oklahoma City would cut the deficit to just 88-84 by the end of the quarter. The Thunder were on a 30-7 run with eight minutes left in the fourth and ahead 98-90.
Durant after a frustrating night in which he didn’t feel he got the calls he should have, got going in the fourth and scored 12 points to give him 30 on the night.
Durant got into foul trouble picking up two cheapies in the first and Russell Westbrook and James Harden stepped up. With Harden in the Thunder finished the first period strong but still trailed 34-25.
Steve Nash had seven assists in the first and Marcin Gortat 12 points. Nash would get up to 13 assists by halftime but wouldn’t drop another dime the rest of the game.
Westbrook was schooled by Nash in the first half but came out with much better defense in the second half. Westbrook also matched Nash’s offense and then some as he scored 31 points and had 10 of his own assists.
Harden was a machine tonight off the bench and the Thunder were plus-27 when he was in the game. He scored 30 points on 12 shots and made 10-of-11 free throws.
With five minutes left in the third quarter, Royal Ivey entered the game for the first time. He did not score and missed all four of his three-point attempts but he played the rest of the game and the Thunder outscored Phoenix by 23 with him in.
Ivey certainly played great defense and helped stretch the floor on offense as Phoenix showed a lot of zone.
The Thunder were only able to go small in the fourth because of Ibaka’s career game and total control of the boards. Nine of Ibaka’s 20 rebounds were offensive too and he added three blocks as well. Ibaka and Westbrook would prove to be a very solid weapon for Oklahoma City’s offense tonight.
The Suns had 28 assists in the game with 23 of them coming in the first half. Oklahoma City did the most of their damage with 31 fast break points against the old knees of the Suns.
This game again felt like one that the Thunder should not have won for three quarters but then they just give their opponents too much to handle for 48 minutes to lose. They seem to never get tired and never give up in any game this season.
The Thunder now improve their NBA-best record to 31-8 this season and will play next Friday night when they host Cleveland (13-23).